Please note the Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing is located in Osage County in northeast Oklahoma, and is 4 hours east of Woodward, and 1.5 hours northwest of Tulsa
We are very pleased to offer viewing of Greater Prairie-Chickens from blinds. Osage county, in northeastern Oklahoma, has some of the best populations of the Greater Prairie-Chicken in the country. We have arranged to view the birds from blinds on a private ranch, adjacent to the Nature Conservancy’s Tall Grass Prairie Preserve (TGPP). We will gather in the town of Pawhusa at about 4:30 a.m. and take vans to the blinds. You will settle into the blinds at about 5:30 am while it is still dark, but will soon hear the otherworldly booming of the chickens in the morning twilight. You will stay in the blinds until the birds begin to disperse at about 9:00 am.
A few things to keep in mind if using a blind: Dress warmly, the temperatures can be around 40°F. You will be in the blinds for about 3 hours and cannot leave without disturbing the birds. Be prepared to sit quietly on a camp-type chair without access to a restroom. Young children will have trouble sitting quietly for that length of time, so the minimum age is 12 years. After leaving the blinds we’ll meet with the ranch owners for coffee and doughnuts.
We will then head to the TGPP to spend the rest of the day birding on the preserve until about 4:00. We will have a catered lunch at the preserve headquarters. The vans will return to Pawhuska and you will then proceed on your own to Woodward (assuming you are partaking in other festival events). Difficulty: 1
Please register early - We can only accommodate a maximum of 20 participants.
Logistics Our suggested itinerary is to arrive in Pawhuska or Ponca City Tuesday afternoon and spend the night. Some lodging options in Pawhuska include the Black Gold Hotel, 918-287-3303, www.blackgoldmotel.com; the Economy Inn, 918-287-1110 ; and The Wah-Zha-Zhi House, 918-440-1209, www.wahzhazhihouse.com. Ponca City, about 30 minutes to the west of Pawhuska, offers a full range of hotels. You will then meet the group in in Pawhuska early Wednesday morning for van transport to the blinds and afternoon birding. We will get you back to your vehicles by about 4:00 p.m. If you are attending the Photographer Workshop in Woodward on Thursday you will need to drive to Woodward, about 4 hours west, that evening. Otherwise you have all day Thursday to get to Woodward.
Important Note: In 2013 the birds failed to return to the private ranch we use, so we had to cancel the blind viewing. The trek still happened, and we were able to visit a lek visible from the road where blinds are not an option. If you sign up for this trek and we are unable to locate a lek where we can set up blinds you may cancel this trek for a full refund. A final decision will be made by April 1st.